Calculate Your Guinea Pig’s Age in Human Years
Your guinea pig is born ready for the world. Pups, as baby guinea pigs are called, have their eyes open, are covered in fur, and ready to go. I have seen pups able to drink from a water bottle and eat hay within hours of being born. It’s pretty amazing. In this way, guinea pigs have more in common with a toddler than a human baby right from the start.
Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity as early as 3 weeks old. They can also get pregnant well into their senior years although it gets less and less successful as your guinea pig ages. Pregnancy can be difficult or even deadly if a sow is pregnant for the first time beyond 6 months of age.
Your guinea pig will continue to grow in size until they are about a year old. Some breeds stop growing sooner and some have an extended growth phase. It’s important during this time for them to eat a variety of foods and maintain a healthy diet so their body has an opportunity to maximize development.
After age four, your guinea pigs are usually considered members of the senior club. You’ll notice your cavies slowing down and having trouble with ramps. Genetic health issues will appear and the long term effects of their daily diet and exercise will show. Veterinary visits are very important at this age to diagnose health issues before they become a problem.
These landmarks give us a good idea of where to place markers on a guinea pig’s timeline relative to our own. Guinea pigs grow very fast at first and once they reach about a year of age, you’ll notice health issues that might have been there from birth have settled into a routine. Your guinea pig might coast through their prime from ages one through three with few problems. Around age four, reoccurring problems are more of an issue and around age five your routine might change as you adjust to medications and alter the cage layout to compensate for ongoing issues. When caring for a senior guinea pig, you will need to be more mindful and accommodating of your pet’s changing needs.
The Guinness book of World Records recorded that the oldest guinea pig was Snowball from Nottinghamshire, England. In February 1979, Snowball died at the age of 14 years and 10 months. Other unverified accounts have had guinea pigs living even longer. While their time with us is relatively short, guinea pigs can give us many years of happiness with proper care. However, if you find your guinea pig turns 35 and is still living at home, it might be the proper time to tell him he needs to find a job and start paying his fair share.
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